Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

Property Damage:

My wife was dumping out ask from the wood stove onto the side yard, we do this to raise the acidic soil PH for better lawn. She had swung the bucket a bit to hard and the watery dust ended up on our neighbors vehicle. She didn't clean it off immediately and the neighbor who owns the vehicle came out later and saw this. He claims we did it on purpose and called the police. The police said we would be charged with vandalism. The police officer thinks she did it on purpose because she didn't clean it off. She states she didn't clean it off because she was scared she would get caught cleaning it and they would have assaulted her. Which I understand because when they did see it they immediately started yelling at me asking if I had done it when they saw me outside, I then stated no why would I do that. ( I didn't know my wife accidentally did what she did) So, 3 mins later I had the Father, Grandfather, and son in my yard and all three yelling at me because my wife told them she hadn't cleaned it off because they shouldn't park there cars all around our house all the time. (They have 9 vehicles)

If this goes to court which I believe it will, what kind of penalty(s) will she be looking at and also if possible to suggest, should we retain an attorney for such a petty thing that was accidental.

Asked on 11/30/13, 1:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

No, I don't see what you've described as meriting any criminal

charge(s) against your wife since there apparently was

mo criminal intent on her part to commit vandalism, and, if

for some reason a case is "papered", i.e., formally charged,

I would expect that it would likely be dismissed once the

office of commonwealth's attorney becomes fully aware of the

relevant facts in the matter.

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Answered on 11/30/13, 1:22 pm

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